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  • Jonathan Harmon

3 Ways to Drive Traffic and Increase Sales



Retail can be very rewarding, but it takes hard work to be successful.


Even during the best of times, some businesses thrive while others fail.


The unprecedented perfect storm of challenges now facing retailers is making it even harder to succeed.


Fortunately, the old saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” holds true and retailers are some of the toughest around.


Read on to "get going" with 3 Ways to Drive Traffic and Increase Revenues.



Make Sure Your Current and Prospective Customers Know You are Open


This may seem like a real no-brainer, but take a minute to think about it.


Do your customers know you are open?


Changes in local ordinances, staffing issues, and supply chain disruptions have forced some businesses to change schedules or close temporarily.


Other businesses have closed permanently without notice.


Consumers are planning shopping trips more carefully and need to know you will be open for business when they arrive.


It is essential that you make your current operating status and business hours of operation crystal clear and easily available to current and prospective customers.


Make sure to take the following steps to ensure everyone knows what days and times your business will be open for operation:


Update Your Storefront Signage


Make sure that any days/hours posted are accurate and up to date on window signs.


Replace burned out bulbs and/or repair neon in lighted signs. Remind staff to turn signs on upon opening each morning and off at closing.


Put an a-frame "open" sign on the sidewalk in front of your store to help improve visibility and capture potential drive-by traffic.



Update your Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business listing is often the first result when a customer or prospect searches for your business on their computer, phone, or mobile device.

The Google My Business listing can include a lot of information about your business including:

  • phone number

  • address

  • website link

  • directions

  • reviews

  • hours of operation

  • photos

  • profile description

Your Google My Business account is a key place to update hours of operation.


Even if you never created an account, for your business, there is a good chance Google created a barebones account for you based on third-party information. Unfortunately, the information in these types of profiles are incomplete and often inaccurate.


It is a very good idea to claim your Google My Business account and update it ASAP to avoid missing out on valuable store traffic.


To learn more about Google My Business accounts and how to use them, start with the following articles:


https://www.google.com/business/

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/06/10/create-google-my-business-account



Update Your Social Media Channels


More people are staying at home and using social media to safely connect with friends and family.


With over 233 million users spending on average 2 hours and 24 minutes a day, social media has the potential to reach three quarters of the United States population and is a powerful way to connect with consumers.


Be sure to update hours of operation and business status on your social media channels and share the changes with your followers.



Update Your Website


If you have a website for your business, be sure to update the hours of operation and status on the site.


If the website doesn't currently have hours of operation, add them.



Reach Out to Your Direct Mail List

If you have a customer mailing list, reach out with a simple mailing to let your customers know you are available to serve them. Be sure to include:

  • updated hours of operation

  • contact information

  • in-store-only promotional offer


Update Your Email List


If you currently maintain an email list for your business, be sure to reach out to subscribers and update them on your business status and hours of operation.


Plan to include email updates going forward to keep your subscriber base informed.



Update Advertising


Review all messages currently being used in your radio, television, print, and digital advertising to ensure that they don't contain inaccuracies.


Work with your marketing team and media partners to make any needed revisions.



Update Phone System Messaging


Review messaging used throughout your business phone system for accuracy, be sure to include:

  • voicemail

  • hold messaging

  • automated directory content


Offer Alternative Shopping Options


Different consumers have different comfort levels when it comes to shopping these days.


The best strategy for driving traffic and increasing revenue is to meet the needs of all of your customers and prospects by offering options.



eCommerce


63% of recently surveyed retail shoppers reported they were still avoiding stores.


51% of the of those respondents indicated increased online purchasing was the reason they were staying away.



If you are already selling online, make sure your customers know.


Update all of your communications - social media, stationary, catalogs, email newsletter, etc. - to ensure all your customers know they can buy from you online and have the purchase delivered to their home.



If you aren't currently selling online, start.


Don't be intimidated by the challenge of building an ecommerce site. It's a lot easier to do than you think.


Check out this blog post to get started: Learn how to Build An Ecommerce Website in 24 Hours or Less.


Don't forget to consider alternative online sales channels such as Amazon, Ebay, and Facebook Marketplace.



Buy Online Pick-up In Store (BOPIS)


The option to order online and pick-up in store offers a middle ground for customers and prospects.


It allows them to minimize the time spent in your store and in contact with staff and other shoppers while still receiving their goods quickly.




Contact-less Curbside Pick-up


Another option is contact-less curbside pickup.


It's not just for restaurants and grocery stores and it isn't nearly as hard to set-up as you think.


In fact, most hosted ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, and Wix include store pick-up as an order fulfillment option right out of the box.


Not sure how to get started? Check out this guide from eCommerce Platform BigCommerce.




Increase Profits from Existing Store Traffic


Okay, this may feel like a cheat, but getting more from the traffic you already have can be an efficient and effective way to increase revenue.


The goal of increased revenue from existing traffic can be achieved by:

  • Increasing the number of prospects that become customers

  • Increasing the amount of money each customer spends

Each objective above fuels improvement. Combined they can create a synergy driving significant sales growth.


It is important to include both tactics as part of your strategy.


In order to track the effectiveness of your strategy, you will need to use two key performance indicators:

  • Retail Conversion Rate

  • Average Transaction Value



Retail Conversion Rate


The Retail Conversion Rate measures how successful your business is at turning visitors to your store into paying customers.


The following formula is used to calculate the retail conversion rate:


Retail Conversion Rate = number of transactions/number of store visitors x 100


i.e. the Retail Conversion Rate for a day with 25 transactions and 40 store visitors


Retail Conversion Rate = 25/40 x 100 = 62.5%




Average Transaction Value


The Average Transaction Value measures the average total cost of a purchase at your store.


The following formula is used to calculate the Average Transaction Value:


Average Transaction Value = total purchases value/total number of purchases


i.e. the Average Transaction Value for a day with a total purchase value of $3,000 and 100 individual purchases


Average Transaction Value = $3000/100 = $30



Set a Baseline for Comparison


Track your Retail Conversion Rate (RCR) and Average Transaction Value (ATV) for at least a week to create a baseline to compare performance against in the future.



Set Goals for Improvement


Set weekly and monthly goals for improvement for RCR and ATV.


Pick goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound).


Measure your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly based on performance.



Strategic Tips for Improving Conversion Rate


Provide your staff with training to help them engage with customers and learn what they need.


A simple way to start is by teaching sales associates to always greet every customer and to replace close-ended questions with open-ended questions in their greetings.


Close-ended questions are those questions that can be answered with yes or no such as "Can I help you find something?"


Open-ended questions, such as "What can I help you find today?" cannot be answered with a yes or no and helps to draw out the customer's needs.


This enables the sales associate to assist with appropriate purchase suggestions to meet the customer's needs.



Use Your Power Wall


Customers will instinctively look to the right when entering your store.


The wall they see is sometimes referred to as the "Power Wall" and is prime merchandising space in your store.


Use this "power wall" strategically to feature your most popular and profitable merchandise in an eye-catching display.



Be Aware of Your Decompression Zone


Studies show that the customers decompress and adjust to your store in the first 5 to 15 of entering and can often distractedly move past merchandise in this decompression zone.


Professionals suggest limiting merchandise in this zone and using interior design to create a contrast to the outside world.


Changes in color and texture can help to signal to customers that they are in a new space and need to slow down and pay attention. The more aware the customer is of what you are offering, the more likely they are to make a purchase.



Strategic Tips for Increasing Average Order Size


Avoid Flat Displays


Change up the visual elements of your displays to create depth. Include variations in height, color, and depth when possible.


Create Focal Points


Provide focal points to avoid overwhelming customers with busy, distracting displays.


Cross-sell


Train your sales associates to recommend complimentary products to go with products customers are purchasing.


For, example if a customer is buying a pen, a sales associate could recommend a package of ink refills or stationary to go with it.


Put together a list of suggested cross-sells to use with your best selling products and distribute to your sales associates.


Upsell


Train your sales associates to recommend higher end products when assisting customers that are interested in introductory models.


The key to upselling is to clearly communicate how each additional feature of the high end model provides additional benefit to the customer.


Be sure to teach associates to avoid bad-mouthing the lower end products when upselling, as it could cost a sale if the customer can't afford to upgrade.



Conclusion


Thank-you for sharing your time to learn 3 ways to drive traffic and increase sales through:

  • clear communication of business status and hours

  • expanded shopping options

  • increased sales from existing store traffic

I hope you found some of the tips and tactics helpful to you and your business and wish you all the best this holiday season!

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